The facial beloved by Gwyneth Paltrow and Stella McCartney

Beauty

This facial beloved by Gwyneth Paltrow and Stella McCartney is one of the best in town, as Charlotte discovers…

Linda Meredith has a serious reputation in the skincare business. Her V-Tox cream is written about as a great toxin-free alternative to Botox, she’s been in the industry for 40 years and she takes a totally bespoke approach. So I knew I was in good hands when I headed to her salon on Beauchamp Place.

The entrance is discreet, so much so that I walk past it twice, but once inside, it is cosy and clearly a hallowed space: the walls are adorned with signed black and white pictures of famous clients thanking Linda for their facials. Everyone from Jude Law and Madonna to Gwyneth Paltrow and Stella McCartney have paid her a visit, it seems.

In her time, Linda has worked on more than 50,000 clients. Six years ago, she herself decided to focus on training, product development and expansion (the company now has more than 25 locations across the world). But her staff are impeccably trained and I know I am in good hand with my therapist Sarie.

She assesses my skin concerns before I have time to articulate them – dry skin that no amount of moisturiser or drinking water seems able to hydrate. Now, I’ve articulated my frustration that I do try to hydrate my skin but to no avail in previous facials, and no expert has articulated that I should be doing anything else. Sarie, however, proves to be a font of information. My issue, she says, is I am not layering my creams. I need a serum, possibly a booster like collagen, and then moisturiser, so products can really sink in and go past the superficial layer of skin. My skin is drinking up the thin layer of moisturiser I give it, but not enough for particles to really penetrate. Layering skincare is how Linda’s products are designed to be used, and how I plan to operate moving forwards.

Anyway, back to my facial. The treatment is thorough (allow 90 minutes), starting with a double cleanse, exfoliation, steam and extractions – always my favourite part of a facial, because it stops me attacking my face, to much less success, at home. Next up is an anti-bacterial gel peel which tingles in a way that feels effective, but contains such natural ingredients (apples, nuts, vitamin C) that I feel reassured. Using a serum, Sarie massages my face, which she promises restores glow and causes fresh blood to circulate as well as feeling rather lovely. Next comes a 15-minute mask of Linda’s Net-45 product, a seriously hydrating thick cream that I am desperate to purchase – it feels deliciously rich and turns to a more oily consistency as it is rubbed in.

Two things I love about Linda Meredith: her products treat problems, not type – it’s totally possible to have both acne and dry skin, which many brands don’t take into account; and she is in general laser-free, taking a natural approach where possible but remaining effects-driven. The treatment ends with a 15-minute add-on oxygen blast all over my face, which Linda pioneered way back when. It uses medical-grade oxygen, sprayed all over my face from what feels like a water gun. Sarie is careful to focus on my eyes as much as anywhere else, as crows’s feet and laughter lines tend to set in easily around this much thinner skin.

A quick rub of Linda’s Amazon balm to seal everything, words of warning from Sarie to change my pillow case regularly and avoid holding my (filthy) phone to my ear to prevent breakouts, and I am on my way, with skin I can’t stop staring at. Linda Meredith’s treatments are best done regularly, and if these are the results after just one session, I know I will have to return. She deserves every bit of her reputation as the queen of skincare.

From £100 for 90 minutes; Linda Meredith, 36 Beauchamp Place, lindameredith.com

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